Saturday, May 11, 2013

Outreach and the Artist

photo by
Emma Stojancic

"My point is not that it's possible to make a connection between the arts and Jesus. My point is that there already is a connection. This is a theological reality."
Con Campbell

     Con Campbell plays jazz, lectures in theology, and likes coffee. Thus begins the bio blurb on the cover of Con Campbell's latest book, Outreach And The Artist, Sharing the Gospel With the Arts. After reading the book, I thought- 'so this is what happens when a professional jazz musician (four CDs to date)/New Testament Greek scholar (numerous books and journal articles in print) talks about art and'

     The dialogue between artists and the Christian church has been awkward, at best, far too long. Outreach and the Artist is a book that can help the conversation move forward. Con Campbell offers practical counsel to 'both sides', artists and clergy, with the grace of a jazz artist and the intelligence of a University Professor. The book also features interviews with visual and performing artists, asking questions like, "What struggles have you had as a Christian engaged with the arts?" and "Concerning other artists you know, what is the single biggest barrier stopping them from coming to Christ?"

"... the most effective people for outreach into artistic communities are fellow artists. And the more artistic credibility they have the better."

     Con Campbell has credibility- among artists and Bible scholars. Whether you are an artist, a pastor, or someone in between, I recommend reading Outreach and the Artist.

And may the conversation continue. 

You can hear Con Campbell play in this video:

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